Your successful service invention

You have developed a new technology or innovative technique as part of your employment? Congratulations on your achievement! Maybe you ask yourself now: What happens with my invention? Who does it belong to and who gets money for it? On this page, we’ll try to answer the most important questions!

What is a service invention?

For your invention to be deemed a service invention, it has to be a patentable invention in accordance with § 1 PatG. This means that your invention has to be of a technical nature, new and not part of the “state of the art”, i.e. knowledge which has at any time been made available to the public, for instance as part of a public speech. Please keep in mind that these regulations potentially also apply to software products, as they can often be patented as well and thus have to be reported.

In accordance with § 7 (3) PatG, an invention is deemed a service invention if it falls into the area of work of your employer, i.e. the University of Salzburg, and…

• …if the activity leading to the invention is part of your employment; or
• …if the inspiration for your invention was drawn from your employment;or
• …if your invention was significantly facilitated by the use of your employer’s expertise or resources.

In accordance with § 106 Universitätsgesetz 2002 (amended by the Rectorate’s guidelines on service inventions of June 18, 2008) the University of Salzburg has the right to claim your service invention. Although the university is entitled to claim any service invention, of course this does not mean that you will walk away empty-handed! Provided that your invention yields profit and you are named as the inventor, you are entitled to an inventor remuneration (§ 20 PatG).

NB: In accordance with § 106 (3) UG 2002, every invention has to be reported to the rectorate without delay!

What do you have to report?

Please keep in mind that any invention has to be reported, no matter if it was made during a university research project or a third-party funded project. If you don’t report your invention, it not only constitutes a violation of your duty as an employee, but can at the worst also make you liable for damages. Any rights to research results (of both §§ 27 and 26-UG projects) can only be transferred to companies or grantors with prior written permission by the Vice Rector for Research.

How do I have to report my invention?

Please fill in the official service invention report form and drop it off in a sealed envelope at the Research Service Department.

What happens after I have reported my invention?

After officially reporting your invention, the university has three months to decide whether it wants to claim your invention and take over the rights. During this time, you are not allowed to disclose any information about your invention. If the university declines its right to claim your invention, it automatically falls back to you. Incidentally, if you do not report your invention, this does not mean that the university cannot claim the rights for it. It only means that the initial time period has lapsed and thus the university has more than three months to decide whether it wants to claim your invention. If you had your invention patented yourself in the meantime, this does not change the situation either, it only means that the university can at worst claim the withdrawal and transfer of your patent (see § 49 PatG).

Publishing or patenting?

Without a doubt, publications are an essential part of scientific research. Often enough, an early publication is more important for scientists than the commercial exploitation of their research results. However, please keep in mind that any kind of publication (abstract, poster, lectures,…) makes the future patenting (and thus also the commercial exploitation) of your invention impossible! If you stick to the simple “Patent before publication!“ rule, you won’t have any problems patenting your invention, as inventions can be published as soon as you have applied for a patent (according to the date of your application). Also don’t forget to report your invention with the university in time so it can support you in the process.  

Any questions?

You need further information on the protection of intellectual property or patent financing or need support in the commercialization or exploitation of your invention? The Research Service Department offers you a vast range of consulting services and is happy to help you with reporting your service inventions or with other administrative matters.

Contact us for further information on…

• Reporting service inventions and patent possibilities
• Assumption of patenting costs if the university claims your invention
• Remuneration in case of a successful exploitation
• Protection of intellectual property, e.g. patents, brands, designs, copyright
• Protection of research results in third-party funded contracts and publications
•Non-disclosure agreements, sample material transfer agreements, etc.

 

Your contact:

Dr. Erika Hebenstreit LL.M.
Research Service Department
Kapitelgasse 6,
5020 Salzburg
Tel: +43 662 8044 Ext. 2451
Fax: +43 662 8044 Ext. 177 
e-mail: erika.hebenstreit(at)sbg.ac.at 

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